Canadian Manufacturing

Feds launch program aimed at funding aerospace, defence tech

Technology Demonstration Program geared toward large-scale projects

OTTAWA—The federal government is launching a new program aimed at funding large-scale technology demonstrations in the aerospace and defence sectors that could cover up to half of a project’s cost.

Announced by Minister of Industry James Moore, the new Technology Demonstration Program will fund projects that typically require the integration of a number of technologies and the coordination of multiple partners.

“Canada’s aerospace and defence industries make important contributions to our economy, support high-skilled jobs across the country, and are leading investors in research and development,” Moore said in a release.

“Our government is proud to launch this new program that will support large-scale technology demonstration projects with strong commercialization potential and that will promote cross-industry collaboration.”

Demonstration activities involve moving new technologies out of the laboratory and testing them in real-world settings to ensure they fulfill their intended use in a safe and efficient manner.

Companies often find it difficult to finance this step in the technology development process, limiting the speed and scale with which innovation is advanced.

“Technology demonstration is a vital part of bringing innovation to market, but it is very complex and involves high levels of risk,” said Jim Quick, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC).

The program announcement kicks off the initial call for project proposals, with statements of interest for the first intake due by Dec. 6, 2013.

Approved projects will be announced by fall 2014.

Calls for applications will go out yearly, according to Industry Canada.

The maximum funding that may be allocated in each application cycle is $54-million.

Projects must be led by an original equipment manufacturer or a Tier 1 integrator.

Lead companies will bring together small and medium-sized Canadian-based companies to promote the development of supply chains as well as accredited Canadian universities and colleges or their affiliated research institutes to promote knowledge transfer.

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